Pilatus rolled out the first example of its new PC-24 business jet on August 1, just over a year after launching the new model in May 2013. The aircraft is expected to make its first flight by year-end en route to European and U.S. certification in early 2017.
Russian Helicopters (Booth 4030) has come to LABACE to promote its extensive portfolio of civil rotorcraft, which it claims are well suited to a variety of private, corporate and industrial uses. This year, one of the group’s key subsidiaries, Rostvertol, is celebrating its 75th anniversary–emphasizing Russia’s strong pedigree in helicopter production.
Elbit Systems of America provided more detail on the Center Pedestal Display (CPD) it is providing to Lockheed Martin for the F-16V upgrade. Along with a new AESA radar, the CPD is a key element of the upgrade, which is proceeding for 150 Taiwanese F-16A/Bs, while the U.S. Air Force struggles to fund the improvements for its own fleet.
Faced with a worsening security situation in Ukraine, Poland has issued a requirement for new attack helicopters that could be worth more than $1.3 billion. Meanwhile, however, the country’s choice of 72 new multirole helicopters worth nearly $2.7 billion remains undecided. Budget shortfalls continue to frustrate the armed forces’ desire for new equipment. Earlier this year, Poland decided to retain one squadron of aging Su-22 strike aircraft for up to 10 more years, since it cannot afford a replacement.
Madrid-based charter operator Suraviation has signed an agreement with Marshall Aviation Services to provide MRO and technical support for Suraviation’s seven Cessna Citations, predominantly Mustangs, plus one CJ2. Marshall has 40 years’ experience with the Citation line and operates FlairJet, a Europe-based charter and management company operating a Cessna Mustang, Excel and Bravo as well as an Embraer Phenom 100 and King Air 350s.
The FAA is issuing an Airworthiness Directive for Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) EC130B4 and EC130T2. The AD requires repetitive inspection of the fenestron-to-tailboom junction frame for a crack. This AD is prompted by reports of a crack propagating through the junction frame on two EC130B4 helicopters. These actions are intended to detect a crack and to prevent failure of the junction frame, which could result in loss of the fenestron and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Embraer announced an upgraded version of the Phenom 100 entry-level light jet last year and customers are beginning to take delivery of the new 100E. The aircraft introduces multifunction spoilers and upgraded interior options. Base price is $4.161 million, but options such as premium seats, a solid lavatory door and an extra passenger seat/kibitzer that faces sideways across from the cabin entry door can quickly take the price past $4.4 million, putting it in line with Cessna’s new M2 with a few options.
To great fanfare, Pilatus rolled out its new PC-24 “Super Versatile” jet on Friday at its home airfield of Buochs, near the town of Stans in central Switzerland. The prototype of the twin-engine business/utility jet was pulled across the runway by 24 horses before coming to rest on a giant Swiss flag painted on the apron, in front of a grandstand with 1,000 VIPs and another 24,000 people.
Embraer plans to begin assembling its new midsize Legacy 450 and 500 business jets at its Melbourne, Fla., campus by 2016. The company will break ground soon on a major new plant expansion at its Melbourne facility and expects to add 600 more jobs when it is fully up and running. Embraer already assembles Phenom 100s and 300s at the Florida facility. Meanwhile, Embraer Executive Jets senior vice president Jose Eduardo Costas added that certification of the fly-by-wire Legacy 500 is “imminent.”